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Old 05-08-2020, 01:26 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Madison, SD
Posts: 5
Year: 2002
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 24
No-name Conversion - South Dakota

Hey, I purchased this bus almost a couple of years ago and it has been a very slow going process in-between school and internships. But that should be different this month since I've given myself a month to work solely on the bus. Hopefully this post can give me the motivation to keep up with it

Without further ado, this is my 32' 2002 Bluebird TC2000 FE w/ 5.9 Cummins engine - it is a retired church bus that I drove from Atlanta, GA to Madison,SD. And, I'm sure that the buddy who went with me for that trip will never do so again (with good reason, lol).

Somewhere around Kansas City it broke down along the interstate from a seized fuel pump (an almost $3-4k repair) which led to me not working on it for a few months. And then it broke down again after driving it back from Kansas City from another seized brake line. Since then everything has worked flawlessly and I managed to drive it over +600 miles between South Dakota and Northern Minnesota in-between project work.

The max capacity used to be 24 people, but now it only has seats for one :P

Assuming I attached everything correctly - here are some pictures.

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Old 05-08-2020, 01:34 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Madison, SD
Posts: 5
Year: 2002
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 24
Some of the broader goals are to eventually have plumbing for showers and kitchen water, a compostable toilet, diesel heaters or hydronic heating, 2-5KWh solar and adequate battery capacity using recycled Tesla Model 3 batteries.

At the moment I don't think I will get done with even a quarter of that list this month, however, I do plan on getting some of this done:
  • Sanding + Repainting
  • Rack installation
  • Framing
  • Sprayfoaming insulation
  • Window installation
  • Welding shut unsused windows
  • Adding additional undercarriage storage
  • Mounting auxiliary fuel tank
  • Repairing old wiring

If you have any ideas or questions about the build, feel free to ask
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:23 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: NE Oregon
Posts: 53
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
No wheel wells on the inside? That would make for an easier floor plan.
And is that wheel base as short as it looks in the pics, or just because it is at an angle?
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:27 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 23
Year: 1984
Coachwork: TMC
Chassis: MC-9
Engine: Detroit 6v92 TA
Rated Cap: More than I need
Sorry for your bad luck right off the start. But just so you know if the 5.9 Cummins is treated right they will last 1,000,000 miles. Learn to listen to your engine she will let you know when something isn’t right. But don’t loose hope you have a good looking bus and if you keep plugging away at it you will get there. I was once told a project will take twice as long and cost twice as much as planned. I have come to feel if you end up at only twice you are a rock star. Keep up the good fight. It gets funnier after the demo is done. Also more expensive though.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:26 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Madison, SD
Posts: 5
Year: 2002
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 24
Yes! No wheel bumps and the wheel base really is that short. I think it's about 8-9' off the top of my head.

It's great because a couple of times I needed to do a quick u-turn down some country roads and it pulled it perfectly. I was also able to navigate a Starbucks parking lot, lol.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:30 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Madison, SD
Posts: 5
Year: 2002
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stngllhm View Post
Sorry for your bad luck right off the start. But just so you know if the 5.9 Cummins is treated right they will last 1,000,000 miles. Learn to listen to your engine she will let you know when something isnít right. But donít loose hope you have a good looking bus and if you keep plugging away at it you will get there. I was once told a project will take twice as long and cost twice as much as planned. I have come to feel if you end up at only twice you are a rock star. Keep up the good fight. It gets funnier after the demo is done. Also more expensive though.
Right. That's been the slow lesson so far. At first it kind of hit hard and I tried selling it, but I've resolved to finishing it now. I've come this far so I might as well finish haha.

I'll try to post some pics next week after sanding/sealing the floor and removing more side panel pieces.

Eventually the goal is to weld commercial c channel for framing houses onto the bus frame. Then I'll use vertical wooden studs for attaching walls to. Should nice, I think...
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:26 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 519
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
Welcome my fellow South Dakotan. As far as I know we are the only two members from our state. Nice bus. This kind of project does take way more time than you think or would like but eventually you will get it finished if you keep at it. I'm definitely not as far along as I would like to be.

Ted
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:39 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 27
A really cool bus, the size is great for a lot of reasons. Congrats on an awesome platform.
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